Our smartphones play a vital role in our lives, whether we use them for photography, working from home, browsing social media, or buying goods online. Huawei P40 Pro is currently the better smartphone model you can consider, especially if you like photography.
Huawei P40 Pro, released on April 7, 2020, is the latest flagship smartphone from Huawei. The brand’s ‘P’ range is always specifically the photography-centric models. The brand introduced this new model after the successes of its predecessors, including the P20 Pro and the P30 Pro.
Huawei first sought the expertise of Leica Camera AG, a German company, way back in 2016 with its P9 series. Huawei was arguably the pioneer because it popularized the trend of a dual rear camera set based on the Leica camera technology. So, Huawei’s partnership with Leica continues, and one of the key benefits of this relationship is the camera and lens construction inside the P40 Pro.
Huawei P40 Pro is best for photographers who love photography and want a model with impressive photographic specs. This model is the case, with a triple-lens constructed which includes the main camera of 50MP, a super wide-angle camera of 40MP, and a 5x optical zoom camera. The model also has a fourth ‘Time of Flight’ (TOF) camera that creates a shallow depth of field effect.
To know more about Huawei P40 Pro, keep reading this review and match your preferences with the following specs.
A Detailed Review Of The P40 Pro
Here is a comprehensive review of the Huawei P40 Pro with details, from its physical design and appearance to technical features. We will also talk about some of its strengths and limitations.
Design And Appearance
Huawei P40 Pro is appealing, as its details are well-finished, and its stylistic options are interesting. Of all the highest bands seen so far in 2020, the P40 Pro is what that photographers were intensely waiting for.
The glass covering the screen is curved on all sides, but not exaggeratedly: it is enough to be pleasant to look at and simultaneously not annoying because ITS touches are not uncommon.
The black and aluminum frames expand at all four corners, creating an eye-pleasing curve. Technically, this model has a 6.58-inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2,640 x 1,200 pixels. Also, its panel can output both 60 and 90 Hertz refresh rates.
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Fingerprint And Face Recognition
In its P40 Pro, Huawei has made substantial improvements, and the face unlocking feature is one of them. You have enjoyed the optical fingerprint scanner feature in the P30 series. Now in the new large-sized Huawei P40 Pro, you will not adjust your hand grip to unlock it because of an improvement to its unlocking mechanism.
The new P40 Pro is now available with the Mate 30’’ infrared-enhanced Face Recognition feature. Unlike a sophisticated Face ID in Apple with its dot projection, this face recognition feature in the new model is far more secure than face unlocking options in most Android models. The new P40 Pro can quickly recognize the user with and without eyeglasses, unlike iPhone 11 Pro.
Facial recognition is performed in a complex way using a depth sensor (ToF) and an infrared transmitter. This feature has thus resulted in a more secure version than the classic version. This new model combines fingerprint well with 3D face recognition, enabling you to shift the unlocking settings you want.
Once your face information is stored, a 3D image of your face is immediately created. That infrared image is then converted into a 3D depth map. When you try to turn on your phone next time, the stored depth map will function as a reference point and judge whether the user trying to unlock the mobile is you.
2D face unlocking feature, on the other hand, is more often found on many models and a 3D-like technology. However, the difference is that the front-facing camera captures the reference photo, which is just a picture of you.
For example, in inappropriate lighting, your phone might not recognize you. And if you put a printed copy of your face ahead of the camera, they might spoof your identity. Samsung Iris Unlock is another form of face unlock. This feature scans and recognizes the distinctive pattern of your iris while using that as a point of reference.
Although it consumes more time, it is much more secure. The P40 series, specifically the new P40 Pro, can be your great choice if you want a fast and secure phone unlocking mechanism.
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Google Alternative Apps
Huawei P40 Pro has Android 10 with EMUI 10.1 graphical interface. Instead of Google services, the model has Huawei Mobile Services with many applications pre-installed on all its products.
For example, the AppGallery application replaced Play Store, Huawei Video replaced Play Video, Huawei Music replaced YouTube Music, and others. This new model already has a collection of exciting apps, but you can install new apps via AppGallery or TrovApp, which completes the experience.
In 2020, Huawei introduced the ‘Here WeGo’, the long-awaited Google Maps alternative for its mobiles, ‘Here WeGo.’ The Huawei App Gallery includes this app, which is available across both Huawei and Honor mobiles. The Here WeGo app is a product of Here Technologies.
As it has been around since 2013, it is not a new app. And most importantly, you can find the app on the Google Play Store with over 10 million installs. It means it is not exclusive to App Gallery by Huawei. You can expect all your basic mapping needs from the app, such as online cab booking, turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic updates, journey planning, and more.
The communications apps include Wire, Signal, Telegram, and Riot. Wire is a wonderful all-around secure app used as a video, chat, and messenger app. It is limited to some extent when many people communicate in a group conversation via voice or video.
Signal is another exciting app acting as the most secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems. The brand has also included Telegram, a longtime secure messenger app. The brand also ensures the availability of a privacy-focused encrypted and open source chat service called Riot.
DuckDuckGo is the best Google search alternative you can find in the new P40 Pro and the P series. This app is probably the leading player in the game for all game lovers who want to ditch Google for search. Another alternative search engine that works well is the UK-based Mojeek which has its own crawler and index.
The new P40 Pro also has Gmail alternatives. Now, you can use Tutanota and Mailfence, which are secure and private, allowing users to make accounts up to 1 GB and 500 MB, respectively. It has other paid Gmail alternatives, such as Posteo, StartMail, Runbox, Mailbox.org, CounterMail, and more, and around all offer a free trial.
If you need a Chrome-like app, you can enjoy some best Chrome alternatives. Firefox is the most common choice among users, but you can find numerous browsers based on Chromium close to Chrome. These include Iridium, Brave, and Ungoogled Chromium.
Iridium is a Chromium-based open-source Chromium and more secure than Chrome. Brave is also based on the Chromium browser, which has become popular for its feature of blocking trackers and ads by default. The last open source and improved version of Chromium is Ungoogled Chromium, which ensures more privacy.
Users can now quickly transfer data from an old smartphone to a new P40 Pro. You can move all your data with one click by simply installing the Huawei Phone Clone app on both devices. This app takes care of transferring data without the need for cables.
You can perform a full recovery of apps and personal data to avoid having to search for and download your favorite apps. The main features of this app are that it is compatible with Android and iOS phones, free to use, and available on Google Play and the App store.
The settings have full features, and you can customize the system extensively, from the background to the icons. On display, it’s possible to turn on dark mode and adjust screen resolution, text size, magnification, and screen refresh rate. You can also select one of several power-saving modes.
There’s also reverse wireless charging that lets you transfer power from the Huawei P40 Pro to another device sitting on the back (a pair of wireless earbuds or another smartphone).
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This flagship smartphone brings you some exciting features, and 5G connectivity is one of them. In the new P40 Pro, 5G support is complete with NSA and SA modes and mmWave. Regarding connectivity, the model is an average smartphone that doesn’t disappoint but doesn’t stand out as well. It is equipped with two SIM slots, NFC, WiFi 6+, both cable and wireless charging, and you can download apps or programs up to 2,400Mbp.
You can now ensure that all your work is done seamlessly using this model, which provides you with powerful performance throughout the day. For example, connectivity is a significant factor when working from home, and if you cannot rely on your home network, your mobile network would have to.
You can benefit from its 5G capabilities, and it’s due to its Kirin 990 5G chipset. So, you can rest easy knowing that your mobile will constantly be connected. If you prefer a WiFi network, the model’s Wi-Fi 6 Plus capability for a faster network experience is beneficial when remote working or handling multiple tasks simultaneously.
Software And Memory
Let’s start with more technical data. The Huawei P40 Pro is a true war machine. It’s computing specs are KIRIN 990 5G SoC (system-on-a-chip) (2x 2.86 GHz Cortex-A76 + 2x 2.36 GHz Cortex-A76 + 4x 1.95 GHz Cortex-A53) with 8 RAM and 256 GB of internal memory. The communication side is equipped not only with 4G LTE but also with 5G.
The smartphone is flexible and fast, and there is no interference, whether used for general purposes or for playing graphically tricky games like Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty Mobile. Speaking of games, you can also easily install Supercell titles (Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans or Clash Royale, to name a few) by restoring data backups with Supercell ID.
Huawei P40 Pro is equipped with four cameras, as mentioned earlier. Its main camera is 50 MP with slot f / 1.9. It also has an ultra-wide angle of 40 MP with an aperture f/1.8 telephoto lens and 12 MP with 5 × optical zoom. Its ToF sensor measures distance using the recognized speed of light, effectively counting the duration it consumes for a reflected beam of light to return to the camera sensor. In high-end smartphones, like the P40 Pro, the sensor provides a background defocus effect.
The most interesting novelty is exactly the 50MP main lens. Indeed, it is one of the most powerful devices ever installed in a smartphone, which means more light captured, more dynamic range, and less image noise.
The RYYB (red, yellow, yellow, blue) filter has been confirmed in place of the more classic RGGB (red, green, green, blue). An RYYB sensor requires a change in the processing to ensure the right image colors. The P series from Huawei use AI (artificial intelligence) that enables the sensor to understand the scene and convey the right colors. And the phase detection AF has been improved and supported with mechanical and electronic stabilization.
You can think of the moon and its various phases with phase detection autofocus. There are light rays for the camera when a specific point locates itself in seamless focus. An image in a direction with light rays will throw a light on the lens’ opposite sides.
Huawei has brought dozens of improvements and offers new features, from the software engine to the AI engine.
AI Golden Snap is the novelty brought about by the new P40 Pro. When you take a photo using the live mode, it simultaneously records a short video. During this, you can also perform some actions.
You can select the best frame, make it decide everything “AI, remove people who are not related to the image”, and remove any reflection, such as when photographing something under the screen cover or from a window.
The Telephoto Lens of the model works as the telescope with 5x Optical Zoom. However, Huawei claims that it can shoot up to 10 times without losing quality. The quality is awe-inspiring, up to 10x with no apparent loss of quality and subtle details.
However, the quality degrades at maximum magnification, with very inaccurate details up to 50x. What’s interesting is that at the software level, if AI is identifying writing or faces, it’s trying to improve them to be more readable.
Even the Video Sector is optimized at the software level with valuable functions, such as zoom, to better capture voices during recording, telephoto (optical + digital) and access to ISO 51200 Maximum ultra-slow motion recording up to 7,680 fps. Regarding accuracy, it supports 4K at 60fps and 4K Time Lapse video.
You can switch to using two cameras together to record video. You can also switch the sensor during video recording to use the best lens for each zoom level. The only interruption users faced was the inaccuracy between preview and recorder when moving to the telephoto lens. However, Huawei has fixed the software.
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Battery And Autonomy
Huawei P40 Pro has a 4200 mAh battery. Users are pleasantly impressed with the Huawei P40 Lite’s battery, with the same capacity and in the same way that they like it in this professional version, P40 Pro.
Although this capacity sounds a little lower than competitors’ models, the Huawei P series, especially P40 Pro, is known to be very power efficient. The model offers 2 Days of Use as a battery life autonomy.
Pros And Cons Of Huawei P40 Pro
First, Huawei P40 Pro lacks google services but has various similar features that will entertain you. This is the best camera phone currently being marketed with a premium battery, premium screen, superior performance, full connectivity, and build quality to be recommended.
Its major drawbacks include: the mono headphones do not double and the absence of the hole for the 3.5 Mm socket, the screen that “stops” at 90 Hz, and good vibration response but not at the top.
After mentioning that there are no real reasons to advise against it, and with the current offer, the price of the Huawei P40 Pro is around $933, along with the complete warranty as per store policy. This price is undoubtedly high, but the features are excellent at this price.
The Huawei P40 Pro has a lot of improvements over its predecessor. Its upgrades are by far the most impressive when we primarily talk about its camera. The new model outclassed its more expensive competitors in our shootout against the Galaxy S20 Ultra and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The ultra-wide camera of this model is the best in its class, enabling you to produce beautifully detailed 10MP photos (again with pixel binning). If we had to criticize it for anything, we would again consider its camera because the camera is not wide. However, you can shoot attractive macros.
The most significant achievement is the 5x telephoto camera. It beats the periscope camera from Samsung on the S20 Ultra. Another favorable aspect of the model is that it works well even in the dark. It is due to Huawei’s night mode technology, which is remarkable for a camera with such a focal length.
In short, the Huawei P40 Pro is popular globally for its superior cameras and attractive curved display, but a major problem is its lack of Google Apps. However, Huawei integrated the best alternative apps in its models to not disappoint its users.